Here are some significant developments:
- The White House is expected to urge Americans to begin wearing cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of its earlier recommendations, according to a federal official involved in the response.
- President Trump announced he signed the Defense Production Act to compel 3M to provide more N95 face masks for health-care workers.
- The Navy removed the captain of an aircraft carrier crippled by the coronavirus from his job on Thursday, two days after the officer’s unusually blunt letter warned that if the service did not remove sailors from the vessel more quickly, it would fail them.
- A record 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment last week, a stunning sign of an economic collapse triggered by the pandemic.
- Experts and Trump’s advisers doubt the accuracy of the task force’s projection that 240,000 deaths are possible in the U.S., because it has not provided the underlying data so others can assess its reliability.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a select bipartisan committee to oversee the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and its management of the new $2 trillion economic rescue package. Trump decried it as a “witch hunt” at the Thursday task force briefing.